CS started well, kicked off and within three minutes were awarded their first penalty, in front of the posts, which fly-half Liam Cleary converted to make it 3-0.
With less than ten minutes on the clock, prop Craig Bellringer made a penetrating break, which his team-mates carried on deep into Hertford territory. Hertford conceded a penalty close to their own line and CS took the scrum option, with Tom Williams breaking and headed towards the right corner.
When the ball was recycled it was fellow back row Will Scott who crossed the whitewash to give his side a 10-0 lead.
Hertford took play into the CS half with a penalty, however, following a lineout, play was held up for 15 minutes while James Kinsley received treatment for an injury.
Hertford head coach Kwailjit Basra said: “He rolled into his head, he wasn’t concussed but because he told the physio he had pins and needles we had to make sure everything was all right before he was moved.
“Thankfully he’s fine and all is good.”
When play resumed CS had a break instigated by centres Ryan Martin and Conan Osborne. They headed towards the left corner and hooker Josh Forrester crossed the line.
Initially it was not clear whether or not a try had been scored, with the Hertford players insisting the ball had been grounded short of the line, but the referee awarded the score and the hosts led 17-0.
CS continued to dominate and from a kick and chase received a five-metre scrum. The scrum looked promising, but after a Hertford infringement, CS were awarded a penalty.
They opted for a speedy but profitless, quick tap which would a prove costly decision come the final whistle.
At the next penalty, 22 metres from the posts, the Stags opted for the posts, but the kick was unsuccessful.
With half-time in sight, CS received yet another penalty. They decided to kick to the corner but missed touch, from which the Hertford centres combined to race to the other end and Richard Streets went over their first try. This was converted by Lloyd to make it 17-7 at the break.
Stags then had the benefit of an attacking scrum, but on being awarded a penalty Hertford cleared their lines.
From the lineout Hertford created a two on one and successfully put right wing Joe Stockely in at the corner for an unconverted try.
On 70 minutes Hertford benefitted from an attacking scrum with veteran Dave Archer driving the scrum over to lead 19-17.
Shortly after, fly-half Lloyd, a former CS player, saw the opposition fly half’s potential pass, claiming the ball in mid flight and sprinted to the far end to score. With his conversion splitting the posts, Hertford stretched their advantage to 26-17.
The Stags didn’t give up and with one of the last moves of the match, back row Ollie Roberts scored a converted try.
Basra added: “We were getting on the wrong side of the ref and that’s something we’ll have to address.
“With the wind at our backs we had much more possession in the second half and used it to good effect.
“I never had any doubt we would come back to win the match.”
Updated 12:30 - 18 Nov 2018 by Mick Faires